The 1957 to 1958 Commission

A pennnant that was available from the NAAFI for the 1957/58 commission

A pennnant that was available from the ship's NAAFI for the 1957/58 commission

The Commissioning Ceremony at Rosyth in 1957

In July 2017, Terry Craig who was an electtrical mechanician on HMS Gambia's 1957/58 commission very kindly sent these newspaper cuttings about the commissioning of the ship:

Rosyth Ceremony

History was made at Rosyth Dockyard yesterday when the 8,000-ton cruiser HMS Gambia was recommissioned after a 12-month refit. She is the first major war vessel to be commissioned at Rosyth. Built at Wallsend, the cruiser was lent to the New Zealand Navy between 1953 and 1945 and saw action with the United States Third Fleet against the Japanese home islands. At the end of 1945 the Gambia was anchored in Tokio Bay and was present during the signing of the Japanese surrender.

The Navy Accepts £1,500,00 Refit

The cruiser Gambia (8,000 tons) was recommissioned at Rosyth dockyard yesterday after the first Scots naval dockyard refit since Rosyth opened in 1911.

The refit cost more than £1,500,00 and the Admiralty officially praised the Rosyth Doockyard men's job.

Image caption: Royal Marines drawn up on the deck ... ship's company on the quay - the cruiser Gambia is recommissioned after a Rosyth refit.

Inset: Vice-Admiral Pelly, admiral superindentent of Rosyth Dockyard.

Terry Craig is the sailor circled in ink at the center of the picture.

Terry also very kindly sent these photos of the commission:

HMS Gambia's joining pamphlet, 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. The electrical mess. The back row includes Allen Todd, Jock Patterson, and Strumps Hendry. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. The electrical branch, 1957 - 1958. EM Brassington, LREM McArthy, ?, ?, REM Tony Sladin, ? Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Terry Craig and his first fish. HMS Gambia, 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. JEM Stenner, Ted Sayers, Terry Craig, Taffy Pritchard, and Bill ? Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. EM Taffy Hayman (standing), EM Duncan Graham (obscured), and EM Lintern. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Taffy Pritchard, Terry Craig, Jan Moran. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Electrical Mechanicians Terry Craig and Ted Sayers; 5E2 Mess. July 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. EM Terry Craig, LEM Buffy, EM Steel, EM Lintern. 5E2 Mess, December 27 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. HMS Gambia, Christmas 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Swimming gala at RAF Khormaksar,Aden on January 5, 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Taffy Hayman, Allan Todd, and Terry Craig. All were Electrical Mechanicians on HMS Gambia's 1957/58 commission. Photo taken at the swimming gala at RAF Khormaksar,Aden on January 5, 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. HMS Gambia's Paying Off Pennant, Grand Harbour, Malta, 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Geordie Todd (Allen?) and Terry Craig at Perth War Memorial, 2004. Both were Electrical Mechanicians on the 1957/58 commission. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig. Geordie Todd (Allen?) and Terry Craig leving Perth in 2004. Both were Electrical Mechanicians on the 1957/58 commission. Photo kindly supplied by Terry Craig.

Terry also remembers a little bit of trivia, "When we were stocking up with beer for our commission to the East Indies Station in 1957, a lot of it was stowed in between the bulkheads down below some storerooms. Inside the bulkhead was a painted flag of New Zealand. Must have been done when they stocked up with beer?"


Bob Jackson was a Royal Marine on the 1957/58 commission. In August 2017, he very kindly sent these photos:

Commissioning at Rosyth, May 1, 1957. Photo kindly supplied by Bob Jackson The Queen reviewing the Home Fleet in Cromarty Firth, Ma7 27, 1957 27/5/57. The photo was taken from HMS Gambia and kindly supplied by Bob Jackson. Crossing the Line, 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Bob Jackson Royal Marines on exercise in the Persian Gulf, 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Bob Jackson Paying Off Pennant. Valletta, Malta 1958. Photo kindly supplied by Bob Jackson